Daniel Britton says he's concerned with creating an "inventive or imaginary reality" in his artwork.
Laurel Swab might say she's inspired by one imaginary reality in particular.
"I'm frustrated by the fact that our government is ignoring the global warming issue and distracting us by wars, pointless wars," she says.
These two artists, along with Pard Morrison and Rita Zimmerman, will bring their works together in Spring Forward at the FAC Modern. While the artists go into it with different ideas and hopes, the show on the whole recalls a time when people inquired about the age in which they lived.
Britton, 57, a Colorado native and professor of art at Arizona State University, has been painting for 40 years. He focuses on "light falling on a recognizable form in space" while producing his artwork, and says he wants to give viewers the chance to interpret meanings for themselves.
"Art, in and of itself, is an ongoing service that an artist can't even begin to scratch the surface of in a lifetime," he adds.
Swab, who has been sculpting for 18 years and painting for eight, prefers to communicate awareness of the world through her work. She speaks of a "disconnection" happening among people today and a "desire to reconnect as a culture and a people in a global consciousness." She talks of an emotional and spiritual degradation being played out by the war in Iraq specifically, saying that "the value of human life has been demoted."
A sense of political unrest is apparent in her "magic realism," essentially contemporary surrealism, la Pablo Picasso's La Guernica. The paintings depict realistic human figures amid a surreal setting. The emphasis is frequently on the figures' eyes, and often they are blindfolded. Some are shown enduring some sort of intense physical pain or constriction, reflected in the bleak sadness of their facial expressions.
FAC President Michael De Marsche is clear about a common thread tying all four of the artists' works together: the evocation of a sense of introspection and circumspection within the viewer.
"There's a broad range of aesthetic diversity," says Britton, who talks of a "360-degree spectrum" of possibility in contemporary art. "The artists present a broad spectrum of the world and how it's perceived by individuals."
Adds Swab: "It's going to be a very compelling show and will make people think. All we can do is put it out there, and it's up to people to go and see it."
Spring Forward: Four Colorado Artists
FAC Modern, 121 S. Tejon St., South Tower, first floor
Jan. 27 through March 4; opening celebration, Jan. 27, 6-9 p.m.
Visit csfineartscenter.org for more.